(The Root) — The Best Man Holiday is one of the most anticipated films of the 2013 holiday movie season. Building on the success and storylines of audience favorite The Best Man, director Malcolm Lee reassembled an all-star cast to take another shot at creating cinematic magic with the sequel to the 1999 smash hit. The Best Man Holiday picks up 15 years after the wedding that almost isn’t because of Harper’s (Taye Diggs) tell-all book masquerading as a novel. Proving that what’s done in the dark will come to light, the college friends stumble through the wedding weekend learning more about each other than anyone could have imagined.
The long-awaited sequel demonstrates that sometimes old habits die hard when the friends come together again, this time for the holidays. The Root had an opportunity to catch up with some cast members — Sanaa Lathan (Robyn), Morris Chestnut (Lance) and Nia Long (Jordan) — and find out what it was like taking on their roles after 15 years, if there’s any added pressure to pulling off a sequel to a much-loved film and why this group decided to make the sequel.
The Root: What was it like getting back into character after 15 years since you made The Best Man?
Morris Chestnut: The one thing that really did help, the first week we got together, we watched the film as a group. It was a fun experience and also just having genuinely good chemistry.
Sanaa Lathan: Yes, we’re all friends, so it was like a reunion.
Nia Long: We’re like family. We’re happy to see each other and work together, so the chemistry is always there.
TR: As actors, you have been able to move successfully between television and film projects — and even Broadway. Why do you think that is?
SL: I feel like it’s because there is a certain level of God-given gifts that you come into this life. The thing that I notice in all of my peers who continue to thrive in this business after so many years is not giving up. Perseverance. The business is no joke. It may look effortless, but it is no joke. It can be emotional warfare at times. Sometimes you’re on the ground, but the common denominator is that we keep getting up and keep going for it.
NL: Material, I always look at the material. If it speaks to me, I do it. In some sort of way, I feel that the performance resonates with the audience, when you stay true to the voice of the character. I can’t do something that I don’t feel, and I get up when I fall. (Group laughs.)